1964 On Holiday
With Her Best friend
For her birthday her mom had bought her the record
In 1964 she was fourteen when Top of the Pops started on the telly and this weird fella Jimmy Savile hosted the BBC show. She was a mod at the time and very skinny like Twiggy, the famous model back then. She and her friend couldn't wait to go on holiday together and going on the train to the seaside place. Staying at her friend's parents' caravan and feeling
the year before 1963
very grown up with no adults, happy and free having a little place of their very own to stay. The first day larking around taking pictures on the pebbled sand with a beach ball in her hand and picking up seaweed, acting the fool. Looking at those photos today could see what a skinny minnie she was. Oh What Memories!
You can see she looks very uncomfortable
Her friend’s personality was a lot more outgoing than hers when it came to boys, and they met a bunch of fellas, her friend goes off with one of the blokes to her parents' caravan and that left her with the rest of them, making her extremely uncomfortable. Stevie, she will call him, is showing off being silly and juvenile and all over her saying stupid things. They are trying to get her to go with them to their caravan and she wouldn’t, no way not in a month of Sundays. She didn't like how they talked about her friend and has a lot to say in her novel about this time in history and what was going on. Had no idea then the big swinging city of London, Carnaby Street and modelling was going to be part of her life experience and her future to come. When you're young you have no idea what's around the corner your head can be full of anxiety and fear......
Now she was starting to blossom like her mother would tell her in the story of the Ugly Duckling growing into a beautiful swan. She would say to her daughter "like a magnificent flower blooming, growing tall and strong". Being approached and offered jobs, some she took and others she couldn't; having secrets or didn't want because she wasn't interested in money and fame. She couldn't understand why girls would go ballistic, scream, acting
all silly over pop stars. Anyway loud noises would hurt her ears and didn't like crowds, she needed her space. Because of her mother's caring nature making sure her daughter was going to fit in but did make her feel very awkward a lot of the time, getting many a man’s attention. She was very blessed, God was looking after this young autistic girl and she forged ahead trying to live in this unfamiliar world of hers and became a Chameleon .........
Her Mother Would Tell Her The Story
Last Year At School Fighting The Bully
Fighting The Bully When growing up in England in the last year at school and still being bullied, teased and put down. This bully would hit her, call her names and she would try to ignore it. One day when her hormones were kicking in; this bully after gym was taunting her again. It was hard for her to verbalize her feelings and something inside her snapped and she went for her.
The High Numbers
She has a great story in her novel about the High Numbers in 1964 she lived on the street The Mall between Kingsbury and Preston Road . She couldn't wait to leave school she hated it with a passion, being bullied and put down especially by fellas calling her Olive Oyl and other names. Her mother having the knowing made sure she wasn't going to be a shrinking Violet and knew she wasn't a Suzie homemaker and got her daughter the best career being visual and having a creative flair.
Another Bad Experience with SunIn
She was always mucking around with her hair using SunIn wanting to be blonde and it would go an orangy colour and her mother would send her to the hairdressers to get it fixed. It didn't make any difference she'd do it again, wishing she could be exotic and be someone else. She'd draw pictures stories how she wanted her world to be. The girl would be always glamorous and these gentlemen would fight for her attention. She had the greatest imagination it was quite remarkable, being in that fantasy existence, it was better than being in reality bullied at school. If only she could look like those models she saw in all the fashion magazines, blue eyed beautiful blondes and the pinups in her dad's magazines; there's a story finding books under her father's bed as a young child. It certainly wasn't appropriate for her to be looking at........
Little Did She Know Then
1964 House of the Rising Sun was released, by the Animals, the lead singer Eric Burdon, they were part of the British invasion and what an amazing song. Her friend had bought that record and on the label RAK, productions they loved dancing in her living room listening to his deep raspy voice, it was mesmerizing and she felt the rhythm and the beat deep in her soul. It was one of the most powerful blues performance ever. She loved that song, sending shivers
Animals House of the
Rising Sun Produced
by Mickie Most
down her spine. and still does to his day. Oh the swinging 60s, some great memories like the other bygone days. Little did she know then what was in store for her and about to happen.
What A Relief She Left School
She was a happy camper not having to go back to Glenwood Secondary school, being bullied put down called names which didn't do anything for her self esteem. She hated PE with a passion she was hopeless at sports, no coordination and despised having to wear navy knickers and a short pelted skirt showing off her skinny legs. She didn't know her left from her right and couldn't tell the time. It was like she was in a fog, the stress of feeling alienated and her anxiety would get the better of her, no wonder she couldn't learn. After the incident with the bully and her hormones were kicking in she started to feel better about herself, you can read the story above on the link and see what happened....
The first hair cut she did was on her friend in her kitchen and she cut her hair in a Twiggy style. She was so nervous and having anxiety kept cutting and cutting to make sure it was even, till her friend yelled Stop! "It looks fine". They went over to Barn Hill and she got her friend to pose and took a really nice photo with her dad's camera. She can see she did a pretty good job on her first haircut....
Her First Hair Cut
1965 Working At Sopers In Harrow
She started her hairdressing apprenticeship three months after turning fifteen, her mother being very smart lady and knowing her daughter didn't get an education and was unable to read. This was the best thing that happened to her starting working at Sopers the department store in the hair salon. Her mom knowing her daughter would be able to excel using her artistic flair. It brought her out of her shell, being able to express her creative self and connecting to something she loved. Escaping the loneliness of not being accepted by her dad and her peers. Her mom wanted her daughter to have a skill that wouldn’t entail reading or math, knowing of her difficulties and what would be better than putting her in hairdressing. If she had a profession that was in demand, something she enjoyed, knowing it would give her daughter some self-worth. You had to do a three-year apprenticeship to get your papers which she did at Sopers. To become a qualified hairstylist took another two years. In the mornings going to work and if she was lucky she'd see a bus coming before turning on to the Mall. She would run huffing and puffing and usually she was able to get to the bus stop just ahead of the red double decker. The driver, slowing down seeing her running and stepping on to the platform trying to get her breath and what a relief, knowing she didn’t have to walk up the steep hill to the top of the Mall. The bus usually packed and going up the stairs and if she was lucky, many a time a fella would give her his seat. She get off right outside Preston road train station that took her to Harrow on the Hill.
Wearing A Wig At Fifteen
There is a story in her novel she shares why she was extremely upset when first starting her apprenticeship and her mom buying her a wig, makeup and false eyelashes. She was a kind and thoughtful mother wanting her daughter to fit in and to feel better about herself. For some reason the manager at Sopers gave her all the horrible jobs, then one day she stood up for herself and told him what she thought. She did have a great teacher, her extraordinary mom, one of a kind. But she was more diplomatic because her mother was very outspoken if she felt someone wasn't being fair or dishonest. You better not get on her mom's bad side she didn't hold back her feelings, would tell you exactly what she was thinking..
Sopers Photographer She Was Starting To Get Noticed
Then later that year and wearing a hair piece the photographer at Sopers asked if he could take a portrait of her. She was very shy, not sure what to do looking away, then he told her to look right into the camera, with those big doe eyes of hers and she gave a sheepish smile. Click! he got what he wanted and took a couple more. Working in hairdressing she was able to look at the clients through the mirror and brought her somewhat out of her shell. She was designated to work under a stylist called Barbra, she was great at putting hair up in a beehive or bubbles and curls. It was quite disgusting how women looked after their hair and goes into details, what it was like in the 60s in hairdressing. She was very happy when Vidal Sassoon he was very handsome and came out with cutting and blow drying and what a relief! No more pin-curls and roller-setting.
Her Mary Quant Jumper From the 60s. She lost the pink Sash
Nearly sixteen her
first photo taken by